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Preview: Fire-Rapids

The Basics

Chicago Fire (3-3-4) vs. Colorado Rapids (6-3-1) at Toyota Park in
Bridgeview, Ill.

All-time record: Fire lead series 16-11-6

TV info

9:00 p.m. ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live

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What’s at stake?

Both teams head into their final match before the World Cup break riding winning streaks. Colorado is coming off of three straight 1-0 wins, including a victory over the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew last week. The Fire won their first match since April 24 last week, defeating the expansion Philadelphia Union2-1 at Toyota Park. Both teams will play on a quick turnaround, having both played on Saturday night. 

Last meeting

Wednesday’s match will be the second meeting between the clubs this season. The first match, played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 3, saw the teams draw 2-2. All the scoring came from the forwards, with Rapids strikers Omar Cummings and Conor Casey finding the net for Colorado and front-men Brian McBride and Collins John each tallying a goal for the Fire. 

Heroes and Villains

Baggio Husidic vs. Pablo MastroeniHusidic’s recent emergence as a legitimate threat in front of goal (the central midfielder is tied for second on the team with three goals) should keep Mastroeni—the Rapids defensive midfielder—on his toes. The Rapids veteran will need to make sure Husidic doesn’t find space in the box, where he has proven to be an adept finisher. It won’t be easy for Mastroeni though, as Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos figures to use three players in the central midfield against Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz, Mastroeni’s central midfield partner. 

Omar Cummings vs. Fire defense: Cummings absolutely owns the Fire. The Jamaican striker has three goals in his last two games against Chicago and he will look to continue his success against the Fire at Toyota Park on Wednesday. The whole Fire defense will be charged with keeping their eye on the roaming forward, whose speed and ability to strike from distance makes him a threat from any point in the attacking third.

Stat that makes you go, “Hmm ...”

The Rapids have never won at Toyota Park, going 0-3-1 in four meetings in Bridgeview. 

He said it 

“[They’re] a great duo. They’ve been around a while, hardworking guys; you know what you’re going to get out of the them. It’ll definitely be tough. Me, Baggio [Husidic], and Logan [Pause] have to be ready. You know those guys are going to fight so it’ll be a battle and hopefully we’ll get the better of them.”—Chicago midfielder Justin Mapp on what he thinks about Colorado’s central midfield pair of Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz